The cost and complexity of UK pension schemes has led to a growing number of legal disputes in recent years. Such disputes cover a wide variety of issues, ranging from historic problems in mature pension schemes, such as equalisation and scheme amendment powers, to those arising from investment complexities or risk reduction measures and associated employment duties.

Against that backdrop, our ability to identify, understand and advise on pension-related disputes is a key element of our service to clients.

Over the years, our pensions team has worked closely with colleagues in our pensions litigation team to advise on and manage a number of high value and innovative court cases. We regularly call upon a wealth of pensions knowledge and experience, and combine this with a detailed understanding of court procedure and case law across the UK.

Are you involved in a pensions dispute and feel you could benefit from specialist legal input? Are you concerned that a dispute is on the horizon and you want to consider the options available to you? Or are you an adviser requiring support? We have the knowledge and expertise to help.


The team offers a complete range of services covering:

  • recovery of overpayments: advising on options and enforcement;
  • preliminary litigation advice: providing strategic advice in advance of any proposed legal action;
  • court litigation: advising on and managing cases through the court systems north and south of the border; and
  • settlement agreements: advising on and negotiating practical settlements in place of or following formal legal action.  

Our experience

Our recent experience includes:

  • providing preliminary strategic advice to an employer on the merits of a potential negligence action against a pension scheme consultant;
  • preparing legal argument and instructing Counsel at the Court of Session on behalf of trustees and employers;
  • acting for trustees in the preparation and presentation at the Court of Session of a Special Case procedure concerning equalisation and escalation;
  • negotiating a collective settlement agreement with a scheme administrator on behalf of trustees following an error and resulting member complaints;
  • acting for trustees in the successful recovery of historic pension overpayments following a member’s death;
  • providing strategic advice to pension scheme advisers and consultants in relation to potential claims and disputes as to industry practice.
  • ...both sound and pragmatic, and have a proactive and responsive approach. 

  • Shepherd and Wedderburn’s highly experienced team is ‘excellent in all areas’.

  • They have a very good command of their subject but are also very approachable and user-friendly. They are good at making complexity palatable and working as a team.

  • Shepherd and Wedderburn is known for being "fast, responsive and proactive, with no waffle', and for possessing 'great business acumen as well as empathy with people".